Geothermal energy is contained in the extremely hot molten rock called magma flowing under the earth’s crust. It can be found on shallow ground or several kilometres below the surface. It exists in large quantities on our planet and can satisfy many human needs but as it is stored within the earth the extraction process is very expensive.
This thermal energy is perhaps the kind of energy that is most strange for us, because we obtain it by extracting the heat generated in the center of the Earth, which in turn produces a great amount of energy that is then converted into electricity. This publication shows you the most important advantages of this type of thermal energy, what are its uses and also the disadvantages that it has to make use of this great natural resource.
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Benefits of geothermal energy
- Generating this type of energy is not costly, and does not imply any risk.
- It is a highly efficient energy, among renewable energies.
- It can produce energy independence in those countries that can implement it.
- The environmental impact is minimal compared to the extraction of other resources from the soil.
- It is considered a useful energy, which can be applied at domestic and industrial level.
- Its use can be given anywhere on the planet.
- It has been determined with a precise calculation that this type of energy is more abundant than gas or oil.
- It does not produce noise pollution.
- Its exploitation requires less land, so it does not require large extensions.
- The price is not fixed at the international level, which does not generate a negative economic impact in the region.
Uses of geothermal energy
We have found three ways to use thermal energy for the benefit of many people, even if you don’t believe it has been used for thousands of years in some countries to cook and heat.
- In the metal industry can be used to heat water above 300 °c
- In areas where thermal springs are near the surface of the Earth, hot water can be transported directly to warm houses or office buildings.
- It promotes the creation of geothermal power plants.
- By means of the hot water and the vapour of the underground depth one can generate electricity in a power station.
How Thermal Energy Works
The thermal energy to work needs certain elements that are
- The heat source,
- An aquifer
In this video you’ll see the complete functioning of the geothermal power generation.
Disadvantages of geothermal energy
- So far no forms or methods of transporting this type of energy have been found.
- The nearby water tributaries
- High risk of thermal contamination.
- It affects the natural landscape around the volcanoes that generate the energy
- High sulfide acid emissions.
- The so-called “hot spots”, which are the areas where the installation of an energy plant is justified, are not very abundant.
- Investing in a geothermal project is extremely costly.
- Its exploitation is given only at the local level.
- It is not feasible to remove it on rocky or unstable terrain, as wells must be built.
- In large cities, its use is not viable because the subsoil belongs to the state and there are other services that operate at that level
You can also read: Wind energy benefits conclusion geothermal energy as well as other sources of energy can be a good alternative to replace other non-renewable or more polluting sources. There are experiences in several countries that certify that you can take advantage of it very well.